BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Canadian 20U Women’s National Team finished in second place in their group at the 2015 FINA World Women’s Junior Water Polo Championships in Volos, Greece. Indiana freshmen Sarah Myers and Kelly Matthews combined for three scores in Canada’s three-match group stage slate, leading to a one-match playoff against Mexico for one of the final spots in the quarterfinals.
The Canadians knew they would be in for tough competition when they drew into a group with Australia, Italy, and the Netherlands. Many in the world of international water polo labeled this group as the “group of death” for Volos 2015. Despite the odds against them, Canada accumulated enough points to lift out of that treacherous group and dive deeper into the playoff.
Team Canada’s first match came against Australia, one of the toughest squads in the tournament. The teams traded goals for an even score of 5-5 at the half, but Canada’s astounding 4-1 run in the third was the difference in the 12-9 win over Australia. Matthews and Myers netted one goal apiece in Canada’s lone win of the group stage.
Matchday two pitted the Canadians against the Netherlands. While the result was a 15-15 draw, it went down as one of the most compelling contests of group play. Canada clung to a narrow 10-9 lead at the half, but the Dutch closed the gap down the stretch, and the teams split the points.
The third and final matchday was decisive for Group C, as the winner of the match between Canada and Italy determined the group winner. Both sides competed to their maximum potential, and were tied at 9-9 heading into the final quarter. The Italians converted two goals to Canada’s one in the final period, enough to take the match and the group. Matthews netted her second goal of the tournament in Canada’s narrow defeat.
With Canada’s second-place finish, they will enter a one-match playoff against Mexico, who finished third in Group D. The Mexico squad handily defeated Ukraine 11-7 to reach the playoff match against Canada, which will take place at 11:10 am ET. Stay tuned to iuhoosiers.com for all the action surrounding Team Canda and the Hoosiers at Volos 2015.
Swimming news courtesy of Indiana University Water Polo.